While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
It so often happens. We pray, but the answer we seek is delayed. In the interim, disaster strikes.
It was so here. For Jairus, events unfolded like a slow-motion dream. He had urgently pleaded with Jesus to come to his home because his little twelve-year-old daughter was dying. Every good parent can identify with this dad.
But a less urgent need interrupted—the woman with the twelve-year bleeding condition. Surely she could wait an hour longer and catch Jesus at another time. Or surely the Lord could say to her, “I’m on an emergency call right now, and your need is not quite as pressing. I’ll get back to you later.”
Instead, Jesus stopped. He asked the crowd, “Who touched me?” and then He took time to speak to the woman. While He talked, death walked into the daughter’s bedroom. News came to Jairus, “It’s too late. She’s gone.”
Evidently, Jairus had not given up. He was still “bothering” Jesus. That’s why the men who brought him the news told him, “It’s no use. The teacher cannot help you now.”
If Jesus is only a teacher, then the case is always hopeless.
Jesus ignored the counsel of those who came from Jairus’ house, telling Jairus to believe rather than fear. Fear eviscerates faith—it tells us there’s no remedy. It leaves us in despair.
Mark 4:35 through 5:43 records four significant miracles showing Jesus’ authority over nature, demons, illness, and death. Faith is involved in three of the miracles.
Jesus chastised the disciples after He quieted the storm because they had no faith. The woman with the bleeding condition had great faith, believing that even touching the hem of His garment would cure her. Jairus had come to Jesus in great faith to request a visit to his house, but now his faith was leaking out.
How could he possibly have faith in such a circumstance? How many times have loving Christian parents lost a child even though they had faith for healing? How do we explain that what Jesus did for Jairus, the widow’s son (Luke 7:11–17), or Lazarus (John 11) is the exception rather than the rule?
What kind of faith is Jesus calling Jairus to? The faith He calls you to. Is it not a faith that trusts Him?
What stops faith from leaking? Trust. If a loved one I have prayed for lives or dies, I am still called to trust Jesus. There’s a resurrection to eternal life that’s just around the bend—and that resurrection will be far greater than that experienced by Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, or Lazarus, for it will be a resurrection to a glorious new body that will never again experience sickness or death.
Jesus says the exact same thing to you that He said to Jairus, “Trust Me. Don’t fear. When I’m done, all will be well.”
A Prayer: My faith so quickly evaporates, Lord, when I’m hard-pressed or stumped by the reality of situations I can’t change. Help me, Jesus, to trust You—whether I’m in a storm, facing illness, grief, or death.
Excerpted from Dr. Wood’s book, Fearless: How Jesus Changes Everything, available from Vital Resources.